Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre received $1.1 million in welfare funds for work he never performed, which is very good work if you can get it. Not surprisingly, Favre will be paying the money back now that the situation has come to light.
Via Patrick McGee of the Biloxi Sun Herald, Mississippi auditor Shad White said Favre will refund the seven-figure windfall.
“Today my office has received $500,000 from Brett Favre in repayment for [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] money he was paid through [Mississippi Community Education Center] and a commitment to repay the remainder in installments over the next few months,” White said in a statement. “The money will be held in our clearing account for a period and then be sent, in full, to the Mississippi Department of Human Services to be used for TANF-appropriate expenditures.
“I want to applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith effort to make this right and make the taxpayers and TANF families whole. To date, we have seen no records indicating Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.”
Regardless of whether Favre knew that the money came from welfare funds (or whether White has seen record indicating that he did, which is a different question altogether), Favre surely knew he was getting money for nothing. The circumstances cry out for more information as to why Favre got the money, who decided to give it to him, what he knew and when he knew it about where it came from, and whether any amount of it was kicked back to whoever gave it to him.
Indeed, given that the final amount was $1.1 million, it’s hard not to at least wonder whether Favre got $1.1 million with the understanding that someone else would be getting the $0.1 million of it. (That’s just speculation, based on the overall circumstances.)
Favre shouldn’t be let off the hook — and he definitely shouldn’t be applauded — for quickly giving back money he didn’t earn once it came out that he got money he didn’t earn. Indeed, if the mess hadn’t come to light, he surely would have kept the cash.
Either way, more needs to be known about the relationships that resulted in the payment, especially in light of a pair of recent articles from Mississippi Today that delve into Favre’s relationship with Mississippi Community Education Center founder Nancy New, a drug company (that supposedly is working on a concussion cure) in which New allegedly invested MCEC funds, and Favre’s effort to steer the drug company toward Mississippi for the location of a facility.